A five-year-old boy lost his life after the driver of a Dodge pickup trust struck him in a hit-and-run in Queens last week. According to a report by ABC News, authorities are searching for the driver of pickup truck who was turning at the intersection of 100th Street and McIntosh Street, where the boy, his father, and his two siblings were crossing. His name was Jonathan Martinez.
The New York Post reported that the boy’s father, Richard Martinez, has called for the driver to come forward. “I forgive you, we are human,” he reportedly said, asking the driver to surrender to police and tell them he made a mistake. According to Streetsblog, he has launched a GoFundMe to raise funds for funeral expenses.
As nonprofit transit safety advocacy group Transportation Alternatives noted in a press release, the intersection where the hit-and-run took place is not exactly poorly trafficked by children: it’s one block away from a public school as well as a pair of daycare facilities. Given that 14 children lost their lives to traffic violence this year—more than double the six who lost their lives last year—the incident emphasizes the dire street safety issues facing New Yorkers right now, especially vulnerable street users like children and pedestrians, according to the organization. A total of 67 pedestrians have died in traffic violence incidents this year, its data shows, including 17 in Queens.
“As over one million children head back to school, Mayor Adams and NYC DOT have a solemn responsibility to do everything in their power to protect them from traffic violence,” said a spokesperson for Transportation Alternatives said in a statement. “The Adams Administration must expedite the expansion of the Open Streets for Schools program by closing roads adjacent to schools to cars. They must also prioritize areas surrounding schools for comprehensive street redesigns, just as these areas have been the focus of the speed safety camera program.”
More information about the tragic hit-and-run incident in Queens is available via ABC News, the New York Post, Streetsblog, and Transportation Alternatives.
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